As the Denver Post’s Anna Staver reports, after a brief stir in December when campaign filings tipped off his intentions, former Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff is making it official today: he’s running for the U.S. Senate in 2020.
“My campaign, like my career, is grounded in the people of Colorado,” Romanoff said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “I know firsthand what women and men of goodwill can achieve when united by a common purpose.”
The Ohio native, who once planned on a career in journalism, joins a growing list of Democrats vying to take on Gardner, pegged as one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans. Former state Sen. Mike Johnston announced at the end of January, and Lorena Garcia, Trish Zornio and Keith Pottratz have all launched campaigns.
Romanoff took a progressive stance on a variety of issues in his announcement, including Medicare for all, immigration reform and renewable energy. He specifically mentioned the Green New Deal to replace fossils fuels that’s being pushed by his former aide, U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Boulder.
One of the architects of the 2004 takeover of the Colorado legislature that led to enduring dominance by Democrats in Colorado politics, there are few Democratic candidates on the bench in Colorado with the long experience both as a lawmaker and a candidate to match Romanoff. In 2010, Romanoff endeared himself to the Democratic grassroots in his unsuccessful primary challenge to now-Sen. Michael Bennet, and he retains relatively good name recognition within the party rank-and-file.
It’s an interesting point of trivia that Romanoff was one of the principal advocates for 2005’s Referendum C, a fiscal measure that allowed the state some desperately-needed relief from the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) to keep programs funded after the early-2000s recession. Fresh off his appointment to the Colorado House in the summer of 2005, one of Gardner’s first real campaigns was the failed attempt by hard-line Republicans to oppose the bipartisan Referendum C.
A long Democratic primary lies ahead, but Romanoff stands out among the current field of candidates.